University of San Francisco pitcher Riley Ornido delivers a pitch in the first inning against Portland on March 15, 2019. (Ryan Gorcey / S.F. Examiner)

USF Dons baseball drops series opener to Pacific

Dons ace Riley Ornido has a rare off outing against a resurgent Pacific Tigers squad

A rare poor outing for Riley Ornido doomed the San Francisco Dons to a 13-6 loss in Stockton on Thursday night as they opened a three-game set against the Pacific Tigers on a sour note.

The USF ace turned in his second-shortest outing of the year, allowing 11 hits and seven runs (six earned) over 4 2/3 innings. He also walked four, and little help came from the defense as Riki Urata — the Dons’ usually sure-handed third baseman — made an error on Keaton Glover’s sacrifice bunt in the bottom of the first that led to a two-run rally for the hosts as Bryce Kirk knocked in a pair with a single. It could have been worse, if not for Ornido’s play to foil Kevin Sandri’s squeeze bunt attempt for the second out of the inning.

It did get eventually get worse, though, as a Glover RBI triple in the fourth and a James Free single doubled the lead. San Francisco (21-16, 10-6 West Coast Conference) did get a run back in the top of the fifth on Jack Winkler’s fourth homer of the year, but things went haywire in the bottom of the inning. Wyatt Hoffman’s RBI single got the run back, and a two-run double by leadoff man James Arakawa spelled the end of the night for Ornido.

Grant Young allowed three more runs in the sixth on a Sandri RBI double and Grant Mona two-run single, meaning Winkler’s RBI single in the top of the seventh was purely academic. The four-run USF rally in the top of the ninth did little to affect anything besides the final score as Pacific (21-16, 8-8) got a three-run shot from Glover off Kasey Kopelmaa in the bottom of the eighth.

The lone Dons pitcher to avoid giving up any runs on the night was Daniel Slominski, who got the final out of the sixth and took care of the seventh as well in an encouraging outing after the Livermore native returned from injury on a strong note. Lucas Sweany got the win for the Tigers, allowing six hits and striking out five over five innings. The runs SanFrancisco got off the Pacific bullpen were all unearned, as the Tigers made three errors over the course of the night.

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